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Building Sandcastles

Father And Children Building Sandcastles

Some of the skills they will likely develop are:

  • increased hand eye coordination

  • increased strength

  • mathematical language: full, half full, empty, more, less, too much, too little, add, take away,

  • prepositions: e.g. next to, on top, beside, under, etc

  • increased ability to problem solve using trial and error and modification

  • perseverance

  • the ability to plan and create

  • self-esteem building

  • social skills of turn taking or working together to complete a task

  • an understanding of volume of objects

Extension Ideas:

  • Check out different sand sculptures on the internet

  • Go to one of the sand sculpture contests like the Alice in Wonderland and see how they do them

  • On your next visit to the beach bring some trowels to help make the castles (or sculptures) have finer finishes

  • Discuss how sand moves through your hands and show how it moves through an egg timer. Discuss the use of sand timers to keep track of the time

You can add an educational layer to many play activities without it changing the enjoyment level for your child.


Building sandcastles is a fantastic way to keep kids amused for hours. And other than a couple of buckets and ideally a spade or two (although hands work just fine as well) the beach supplies everything you need including shells for decorating.

And it doesn't matter if it's a hot or cool day, just apply sunscreen or dress according to the weather. It's a great way of building your relationship with your children.


When they were little and it was summer we'd make cars around them out of sand and they loved it. But as they grew we'd cooperatively create massive dribble castles that looked like something straight out of Lord of the Rings. Then we'd decorate them. People would often stop and comment. Sometimes other kids joined in.


On other days we diverted the water to make dams and moats. And then we'd let the water go and watch it increase in size and power. We'd put small pieces of driftwood in the water and watch them drift out with the current, then watch as the waves washed them about.

Mathematical Language:

  • full

  • half full

  • empty

  • more

  • less

  • too much

  • too little

  • add

  • takeaway


  • next to

  • on top

  • beside

  • under

  • around

  • below

  • inside

  • outside

For more ideas on developing more complex language skills, go to Best Starts for Kids above.

Or click on one of the links below.

Best Parenting is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. It highlights what successful parents do differently to those who struggle. Best Parenting provides free online resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice on: how to give kids a best start in life, better tips for parenting toddlers, effective child rearing strategies, behaviour management tips, successful goal setting and organizational strategies for successful families, easy family dinner recipes, self-care tips for time-poor parents and free kids learning games. The aim of Best Parenting is to provide quality practical parenting tips and advice to best help children and families succeed, using the convenience of a website.

This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.


Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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